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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 1, 2011 3:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: The Mystery of 6/19/68

6/19/68 has long been a wild, tantalizing glimpse of what the Dead were up to in mid-’68, when the tapes weren’t rolling, setlists could be thrown to the wind, and free jams could go in any direction…

Except that our tape isn’t from 6/19/68 at all. It’s from the famous ‘lost’ 2/19/69 show…just a week before the Live/Dead run.

An article in Rolling Stone describes the 2/19/69 Celestial Synapse event – it’s helpfully reprinted in the “Fillmore West 1969” booklet, and is also on this page:

“Fifteen hundred invitations were sent out for the February 19 event, and though there was no other announcement, probably double that number attended. Everyone was treated to the best vibrations and some of the best music the Fillmore West had seen in some time.
After a stirring oboe and bagpipe introduction by the Golden Toad, Don Hamrick of Frontiers of Science spoke for a few minutes in a gentle rural accent, addressing the crowd as "the Goodly Company." "It is our hope," he said, "that this evening there will be an opening and a free interchange, so that something new may emerge. Let the barriers fall, let there be a merging."
"I haven't seen anything like this in years -- it's like one of the old Ken Kesey Acid Tests," said Bob Thomas, piper of the Toad and, like the Dead, veteran of many an Acid Test, "-- only it's less hectic and confused. It's fucking amazing." People were handing each other flowers, joints, funny incomprehensible little picket signs four inches high.
Invitations had gone out to people in music and a broad range of psychedelic tribes -- from Rancho Olompali and other communes to the Hells Angels. Many Frontiers of Science people and other communards could be seen embracing each other, greeting strangers, dancing and celebrating.”

There’s a review from one audience member on, possibly genuine:
“I heard about this show from my Hells Angels friends and got in with them for free. It was one of the shows were everyone was just smiling, dancing, feeling, and I must have passed out 100 hits of Bear's acid. People were sharing joints, passing out flowers, burning incense, just flowing together. There were bag pipes, naked dancers, and the Dead played for hours.”

The Dead were the main musical event this night. After the show’s introduction, the article continues, “Then the Grateful Dead began a set that ran for four hours or so with scarcely an interruption. The Dead played continuously, a flowing improvisatory set of new material… Three light shows were playing, at no charge to the sponsors. The Grateful Dead and Bill Graham donated their services for free.”

This certainly sounds like our set – “a flowing improvisatory set of new material.” Unfortunately, our tape is only two hours! So apparently half the show is still missing – presumably they played at least a Dark Star.

Our tape cuts in near the start of Lovelight. (No way to tell how long they’d been playing already.) The recording is grungy, with a troubled mix – the notes for the show indicate “a ragged condition at first. The sound system has technical difficulties, with an intermittent buzz during portions of Lovelight from a bad electrical connection. The vocals are very low in the mix, and difficulties with the sound system might explain a lack of singing during the second set.” (My guess is it’s just the poor tapemix, and the audience could hear the vocals in the house okay.)
The Rolling Stone article mentions recording difficulties: “Originally the concert was to be recorded for inclusion on the next Dead album, but last-minute difficulties in setting up the recording equipment scotched that.” (This would have referred to the 16-track machine, but it helps explain why our cassette recording gets off to a poor, and possibly much-delayed start.) Usually Bear’s recordings are better, but it’s likely he was in a celestial condition that night…

Stylistically alone, we could place this Lovelight in early ’69 – if you compare, say, the 6/14/68 and 2/21/69 Lovelights, this night’s Lovelight is clearly from ’69 in style.
This is a long, loose Lovelight - there’s a long drum interlude that winds up with the “yakety yakety ya” chant, which excites the audience no end. As the band returns, one of them shouts, “Hey Pigpen, where are you? Get the fuck over here!”
Lovelight continues into yet another drums interlude, with the audience screaming in ecstasy, and the band falls loosely into a rough Not Fade Away. Weir raucously belts out the song by himself (he’d do it the same way when they resurrected the song in December ’69). It’s not quite the first performance (they’d done it back in ’66, more Rolling Stones-style), but it still sounds spontaneous and exciting. Then they segue back into Lovelight - mostly more Pig rapping over drumtaps.
Interestingly, someone else (not in the band) is singing along gospel-style with Pigpen as they finish the song. The crowd cheers madly, the extra singer applauds, “Bring ‘em on down!” and Weir responds, “Hooray for you guys!”
Then someone says, “Hey, let’s turn it off for a while,” and there are some conversations onstage as the band takes a little break.

The article explains what happens next: “Toward two in the morning there were a number of stoned occurrences. People began taking off their clothes. Don McCoy of Olompali got up on the stage stark naked, against a tableau of Bill Graham restraining the rent-a-cops from pulling him down.”
And indeed, he appears on our tape with a little speech. “Thank you baby – that was a beautiful introduction – my name is Don McCoy… What are you doing with all those clothes on, baby? I thought we were going to be naked up here! Now wait, this looks like the long arm of the law – black power – excuse me, sir, but I’m just doing my thing.” (Here the crowd cheers, as security retreats in bafflement.)
I don’t hear any instructions, but the crowd suddenly starts a long chant, a mass sustained “omm.” (Don McCoy keeps on talking through the chant, “Welcome brothers and sisters – this is heaven – meet my sister Eve – he’s after her already…” and so on.)

The Celestial Synapse was organized by a group called the Frontiers of Science, a rather mystical organization of the type that blossomed in the sixties. According to Rolling Stone, their philosophy “has to do with the crystal at the center of the living Earth, which is affected by human vibrations and which may either change shape (a creative change) or change size (a destructive change, since it would cause earthquakes). The idea is to send down good vibrations to change the shape of that crystal, and the Celestial Synapse may very well have done just that. ‘Synapse’ is the term used…for a mass meeting of minds, parallel to the linking-up of brain cells that makes thought possible.”
Now this kind of ‘science’ was catnip for the Dead, especially Garcia and Lesh, so it’s no wonder they donated their services for free to this event! It seems the goal of the audience chant was to meld minds and send good vibrations into the earth (though its success was unreported…)
In a more immediate sense, though, Don Hamrick’s plan for the evening was very close to the concept of an ideal Dead show: “It is our hope that this evening there will be an opening and a free interchange, so that something new may emerge. Let the barriers fall, let there be a merging.” And that spirit of the Acid Test does come across on tape.

As the omm continues, someone gets on the drums and takes up a beat. More of the audience gathers onstage – one particularly blasted soul “sings” into a mike. In fact, two people sing the “scooby dooby da” ditty near the end, the second one probably a young kid. (At this point, with the steady humming, the drumbeat, and the intermittent ‘Revolution 9’-style child’s chant, it is probably the most authentically psychedelic moment ever captured on a Dead tape.)
Someone else gets on the drums too and tries to sing Lovelight again – “I’m a drummer – let your lovelight shine on me now, brother, dig it!” The audience cheers him on, and the long trance ends. Someone tries to get him offstage, as he protests – “Are you my brother or what?” “You’re high, man, that’s all.”
The people on stage start spontaneously clapping in time and cheering as they keep the beat going. After a while, one of the bandmembers speaks up: “Hey, we can’t get on if you can’t get off!”
Then Bill Graham can be heard saying, “Jonathan, can we get the band, then we’ll get the people off. Just get them up here now, it’ll be fine.”
(When the band comes back, someone says, “Thank you Jesus!”)

The Dead, having calmed down, return with an unknown third guitar player. (He’s speculated to be Gary Duncan or John Cipollina of Quicksilver. Some have said Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady play here – but they were scheduled to play at the Matrix on Feb 19. So their presence at the Celestial Synapse is doubtful – unless they canceled their own show, or left early to be there!)
Fifty minutes of non-stop, flowing improvisations follow, very much like one of the Hartbeats shows. A heavy, morose jam starts between Weir and the mystery guitarist. The rest of the band joins one by one - the organ comes in, finally audible (the mix has improved from the start of the tape). I’m not sure, though, whether Constanten, Pigpen, or another guest is on organ – it doesn’t sound very TC-ish to me.
Lesh takes the jam into the Main Ten – a dark, bluesy version. This flows into a series of Garcia-led jams, which sputter out and then start up again, Garcia gradually taking over. (After a while, the third guitarist seems to retreat to the background.) Though deadlists calls this a ‘Dark Star jam’, it’s definitely not.
As the band heats up, Garcia starts an Other One jam, which they perform without words, exploring a series of different rhythms, almost like a musical juggling act between Garcia and Lesh. This is probably the musical highlight of the show – despite being instrumental, stylistically it’s much closer to a thunderous early-’69 Other One than what we might hear in mid-’68. The jam keeps getting more intense until finally they pound out the titanic Other One chords, then quietly trickle to a stop. (It sounds like they might be thinking of a segue into Death Don’t, but decide to just stop instead.) As the tape cuts off in the applause, it’s not clear whether the show ended there.

The suggestion that this show was 2/19/69 was first made in 2006, as far as I know; yet the new date still seems to be little-known…perhaps suggesting the conservatism of show collectors, or how slowly Dead information gets around! For myself, I was sad to see a tape removed from the already nearly-empty recording gap of mid-’68; but the evidence seems undeniable. It’s some consolation to find that it’s actually the tape of a unique Dead event I thought was lost. (Funnily enough, the misdate echoes the lack of solid dates for the early ‘66 Acid Test recordings.)
Musically, the redate doesn’t really change our knowledge of the Dead. The free-flowing improvs are closer to the style of a Hartbeats show with guests than the experimentation of early ’68. (And there would be a couple more Hartbeats shows later that week.) Now we know, when the Dead almost went into Not Fade Away for the 4/23/69 encore, they had played it just a couple months earlier. The biggest surprise is that the Main Ten is now completely removed from 1968 – its absence from the ’68 Hartbeats shows may indicate that it was composed later than we thought. (It turns up next in a couple Dark Stars of April ’69.)

As for the real 6/19/68? It was the Grateful Dead’s last show at the original pre-Bill Graham Carousel, a benefit for the Black Man’s Free Store. No recording is known to survive. (Though it would be ironic if one of the 1968 ‘mystery reels’ was from this date, which is possible…)

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Poster: Jack o' Roses Date: Jan 1, 2011 2:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Mystery of 6/19/68

Scholarly κῦδος (kudos), as usual:
I dub thee LiA, PhD [Philosophizer Deadicaticus](if'n ya' ain't got 1 already)
Thank you again Sir,

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Poster: Dhamma1 Date: Jan 1, 2011 9:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Mystery of 6/19/68

Really excellent. Many thanks. And happy new year.

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Poster: Jim F Date: Jan 3, 2011 3:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Mystery of 6/19/68

I didn't read all of this yet, but kudos for pointing this one out. I think it makes a perfect companion to the 8/28/69 neo-Hartbeats jam at the Matrix with Howard Wales.

I wish we had more of that stuff...from 68-70 I've managed to grab the whole handful of really interesting jam sessions, typically all at the Matrix. The "Side Trips" cd was really my first introduction to the bad assness of the earliest Garcia "band" jams (as well as the Hartbeats, and the Hartbeats on steroids show with Harvey Mandel on 12/24/68). 10/21/70 I think it is is another fantastic little jam. I just eat that stuff up, the jams with Garcia, Cippolina, Santana, Casady, and on and on. I should compile a little list and an essay on the badassedness of so much of it all.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 3, 2011 12:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Mystery of 6/19/68

10/21/70? What 10/21/70?
Perhaps you're thinking of 10/28/69? Or 10/21/68?

The world awaits your essay on the badassedness of Jerry's side-jams. I find the 12-bar blues jams rather tedious myself, and that's where many of the Matrix jams w/ guests go...Jorma loved playing those, too.
I liked the 8/21/71 jam session, though - but Side Trips and the 1/26/72 Wales show take the cake for best early "Jerry on the side", before you get to the Saunders years.

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Poster: jjoops Date: Jan 3, 2011 3:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Mystery of 6/19/68

10/21/70 is said to be Heider's sessions, but no-one has ever sat down and unraveled exactly what it is. It feels more like Papa John kind of stuff, and it's not clear that Garcia is there.

Fenton's book Take Me To a Circus Tent, which is very detailed (if extremely disorganized), strongly and categorically denies that there is any 10/21/68 jam session, whatever old circulating tapes used to say.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 3, 2011 7:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Mystery of 6/19/68

Yeah, I noted in my link that 10/21/68 was a fake.

As 10/21/70 might be, too. Or at least, the date, location, and Garcia's presence have all been strongly questioned. (Charlie Miller says there's no Jerry. And Garcia was, of course, touring the east at the time.)
Anyway, I haven't heard it myself.

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Poster: Jim F Date: Jan 4, 2011 4:19am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Mystery of 6/19/68

I'm not about to get back into this topic at 5:41 am, but actually I originally meant to mention the jam at the Matrix from "8/4/70." For anyone who is as a big fan as I am of the oddities and jam sessions throughout the late 60's and early 70's (especially anything with Cippolina), such as the Hartbeats shows, 8/4 is a must have. The first track isn't very special, but by the Stormy Weather jam things start to heat up. The 3rd track, a jam with similar structure and references to Donovan's "Sunshine Superman," is easily the highlight of the show. Really hot jamming. The 4th track is a generic Santana jam, full of all kinds of "latin percussion." Also quite tasty.

The Matrix, San Francisco, CA

Rock Me Baby
Stormy Weather
Sunshine Superman Jam
Santana Jam

Jorma Kaukonen - guitar, vox
Jack Casady - bass
Joey Covington - drums
John Cipollina - guitar
Dino Valenti - guitar
Nicky Hopkins - keyboards
Carlos Santana - guitar

Though I do also like the "10/21/70" jam. The Papa John Creach stuff is pretty cool. Whatever the date and whoever is playing, it makes for nice companion filler to the 8/4/70 jam.

A while back I got a bunch of Hendrix stuff from Lossless Legs, sortof the Hendrix version of things like the Mickey Hart's Barn Jam. I generally don't collect much live Hendrix, but these recordings are absolutely fantastic. Impromptu live and studio jam sessions from 68-70 with all sorts of people like BB King, Elvin Bishop, John McLaughlin (also have a bad ass show of John with Santana from '73, worth seeking out), Taj Mahal, Al Kooper, Larry Young, etc.

Well I did get rambling a bit...OK one last mention. If this isn't one of your favorite recordings from 1971-a recording that easily holds it's own with some of the better GD performances from the year-then you probably just haven't heard it yet. It's a shame that it isn't until 72 or so where we start to see Garcia solo stuff recorded and circulated with the same frequency as we do with the GD (I never knew the true date for the Side Trips cd, I had it pegged more for a 71, maaaaybe a 1970, but now that I think about it, early 72 feels right). Maybe I'll play this one at the dentist's...

Another one with sketchy dating, but great jamming...

Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders
San Francisco, CA

SBD MR > R > R > CD > EAC > WAV (shntool confirms no sbes) > FLAC

SBD MR (Peter Abrams) > R (Peter Kafer)<< R (Will Boswell) > CD
Transferred by Matt Smith---- info: MR@7 1/2 ips>R@7 1/2 ips>R@ 7 1/2 ips>Apogee Mini ME 24/96>Apogee Mini DAC(monitoring)>Wavelab 5.0(dithered to 20/44)>CD

Huge thanks to Will Boswell for the source and to Matt Smith for blessing us with a copy.

Disc 1
01 save mother earth jam > funk space jam > 13:29
02 save mother earth jam continued > 14:40 (reel splice at 2:37)
03 jam 15:22

Disc 2
01 jam > 8:48 (drop out at 5:23-:26)
02 jam > 24:04
03 jam 5:42 // (cuts at 4:42)


all instrumental show with lots of spacey improvisation

wonderful sound and jamming!!!

As Matt puts it:
"It's clearly a Matrix tape and you can tell from the separation of the instruments
and it has the same type of mix of all other Matrix reels I've done. Since Garcia
would show up at the 'Thursday night Jam' numerous times, this could be from
late 1970 but since Merle is here it's most likely early, mid '71. There is static in the left channel but goes away and the overall dynamics are fantastic!! It's like
you're sitting right in front of them!! As an aside Kafer's reels were destroyed in
his parent's attic so Will's stuff is most likely the best and cleanest surviving
analog copies.


Jerry Garcia and Merle Saunders
Keystone Korners
San Francisco Ca
5 20 1971

24 bit / 96 kHz Raw Transfer. No DSP Applied.

The date has been deduced by David Lemiuex and Matt Smith with some solid research. While we will never know for sure, few would know better.

"Most likely lineage.. MR@ 7 1/2 ips >> Reel(owned by Jerry Garcia) >>
Reel(made and owned by Will Boswell) @ 7 1/2 ips >> 2496 PCM WAV [by Matt Smith] .
There is also a chance Garcia had the master as well so there could be one less gen but we will never know. DL never heard of this before but there are other recordings from other nights. at least the following day(no i do not have it. I WISH)"- MS

Careful listening, 3 basic crossfades and minor adjustments applied by Jamie Waddell on the GEMS Edit Sation. I didn't do a single thing to the sound. I played with a lot of ideas and while each made the sonics better in some ways, this recording just doesnt need anything. Let yer amp do the work on the volume, because this is one special treasure. It's my all time favorite (non GD) Jerry Garcia Recording and it's an honor to share this.

this exact reel was transferred and seeded previously as xx/xx/1971 (in 16bit/44.1kHz) at LL and is listed as shnid 93137. The music is the same but this transfer is in 2496 and has no conversions, limiters or dither applied. This is as close to the reel as you can get unless you visit Matt's House.

a Project **GEMS** August2009

1. jam
2. jam
3. jam
4. Blues Instrumental
5. Little Bit of Righteousness
6. Summertime (theming, not exact)

flac fingerprint file generated by Trader's Little Helper
generated on August 23, 2009, at 16:49:02

This post was modified by Jim F on 2011-01-04 12:18:41

This post was modified by Jim F on 2011-01-04 12:19:06

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Poster: jjoops Date: Jan 4, 2011 7:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Mystery of 6/19/68

I am pretty sure the Side Trips performance is 5/18/70.

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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: Jan 2, 2011 12:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Mystery of 6/19/68

thanks...this is extremely interesting stuff. this is one of the few "68" shows i sort of neglected, so i will be giving a good, hard listen now...

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Poster: vapors Date: Jan 1, 2011 4:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Mystery of 6/19/68

Once again, you are the man! I have been doing a chronological sweep of 68 and passing through the sadly minimal recordings available from the “black hole of 1968”, that recent review on the 6/19 page got me wondering, but I was already preoccupied trying to get the first three months straight!

This recording now makes a lot more sense. Thanks for another excellent and significant report.